Eighth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain is playing in the Hero World Challenge for the first time, while Henrik Stenson is a veteran of the 20-year-old event hosted by Tiger Woods, but they share the lead after two rounds.
Rahm, 24, posted a bogey-free, 9-under-par 63 as Stenson, 42, shot 66 at Albany Resort https://albanybahamas.com in New Providence, Bahamas.
“I’m really comfortable here and the biggest thing is to be able to manage to wind changes,” said Rahm (pictured), who won the CareerBuilder Challenge and the Spanish Open this year. “I was able to drive the ball well and manage my game, so I had a lot of birdie chances out there.
“At this time of year, we’re relaxed and having a good time, but we still want to play well and beat each other. You want to win that Tiger trophy because it would look good in your trophy case.”
Rahm was 1-under for the day before reeling off eight birdies in the last 13 holes to finish 36 holes at 10-under 134, which Stenson matched after four birdies on the front nine and three in a row through No. 16.
The Swede is playing well despite not spending much time on his game lately.
“If you think boating is working on the game, then I did a lot of practice,” said Stenson who has won 20 times as a pro, including the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon.
“I guess I should be a little bit fresher than some of my colleagues who call me from Hong Kong or somewhere else at this point. I’m feeling all right. Just keep it going.”
Third-ranked Dustin Johnson collected six birdies in eight holes through No 16 en route to a 67 and is one back in a tie for third with first-round co-leader Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, who finished at 70, while Tony Finau chipped in for an eagle on the ninth hole in a flawless 64 that left him another shot behind in solo fifth.
Gary Woodland carded a 66 with four birdies on the back nine and is four down in a tie for sixth with Alex Noren of Sweden, who wound up with a second straight 69, while defending champion and ninth-ranked Rickie Fowler of Murrieta is five back in solo eighth following a 67 that included an eagle on the 15th hole.
Second-ranked Justin Rose of England and fourth-ranked Justin Thomas both had 70s and are six strokes behind in a tie for ninth with Keegan Bradley, who had three late birdies in a 69.
Tournament host Woods didn’t make a mistake until driving into a bush on the last hole to finish his 69 with a double-bogey 6 and is tied for 14th in the 18-player field.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/competition/2019/hero-world-challenge/leaderboard.html